I have been a part of many fitness centers in many different places around the US. No matter where I am-a hotel gym, a 24 hour fitness center, or staff hour at the varsity collegiate weight room, there are always people in there that are wasting their time. In the cardio area is the 30 year old woman watching movies on her IPad and pedaling with no resistance on the elliptical for 40 minutes. Over in the weights area is the 60 year old man that has done the same weights, same exercises, same routine every other day for 20 years.
So how do you use your time effectively at the gym?
*HAVE A PLAN!
Here is what to do:
1) Start with a 5 minute cardio warm up: bike, elliptical, jog at a moderate pace
2) Dynamic stretching for 5 minutes: 10 arm circles, 10 squats, 10 knee hugs and foam roll upper and lower body
3) Lift weights! Weight lifting exercises are split up using movements: push (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull (back, biceps), legs (glutes, quads, hamstrings), and core (hips and abs). If you workout 3-5 days per week, take 1 movement to focus on during each workout. If you workout 1-3 times per week, combine 2 movement groups (ex: legs and pulls; pushes and core) for each workout.
4) Get your sweat on! Do some cardio. Finish your workout with 20 minutes of cardio. Avoid going steady state. Always vary your pace or resistance every :30-2:00. 5) Stretch. Stretching returns your muscles to their normal length and helps recovery. Focus on both upper and lower body stretches.
5) Stretch. Stretching restores your muscles to their normal resting length and helps with recovery. Focus on both upper and lower body stretches.